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Wine 1.6

Wine lets you run Windows applications directly on your Linux desktop without needing an emulator.

by Neil Bothwick

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License: Open Source
Operating Systems: Linux
Requirements:

 x86-based PC with 512MB of RAM, more is better.

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 19 July 2013
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Downloads To Date: 3720
Developer: Wine Project
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Wine
Call of Duty 2 running on Linux, thanks to Wine.

WINE is one of those recursive acronyms so loved by geeks, it stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator. So if that's what it is not, what is it? The short answer to that is that it is really an emulator, but not of a complete computer like VirtualBox or VMware. WINE emulates the Windows API, the application programming interface, so that you can run Windows programs on Linux. The programs think they are running on Windows but Wine is providing a translation layer so they actually run on your Linux desktop.

Unlike the virtual machine emulators mentioned previously that emulate a complete computer, this runs a single program, so it is faster and more integrated with the rest of the software you are using. On the other hand, the lack of a complete Windows operating system means that not all programs work with Wine. On the plus side, there's an awful lot that do, including Internet Explorer, Office and many other applications and games. Each Windows application opens in its own windows, just like it would on a Windows desktop, and each one can be moved around on the Linux desktop as if it were a Linux application.

Because the applications are simply using the Wine libraries instead of the standard Windows ones, there is no significant performance hit. In fact, the better efficiency of the underlying operating system, especially as it is not burdened with virus and malware scanners running in the background, means that applications can actually run faster on Wine and Linux than they do natively on Windows.

If one or two specialist applications, or your favourite games, are all that is keeping you from switching to Linux full time, try running them with Wine and you may be able to move away from Windows altogether.

Verdict:

It may not run every windows program, but Wine is still incredibly useful for switching to Linux completely.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.5

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.5 brings:

• Per chat custom notification settings and mute
• You can now include videos in your chat backups in Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup
• Mark chats as unread or read with a swipe to the right
• Better support for VoiceOver
• Directly share contacts from the Contacts app and locations from Apple Maps to WhatsApp
• Lower the data usage used during WhatsApp calls in Settings > Chats and Calls 
• Earlier messages now load automatically as you scroll chats
• Improved design for cropping photos and videos
• Location messages now use a large map thumbnail

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: